Delusional politics

PM Netanyahu said very appropriately that the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO’s designation of Hebron as a “Palestinian city” as “delusional.” The UN is full of delusional politics, wishful thinking allied to a strong dose of fantasy.  Not only is Hebron historically a Jewish City, mentioned in the Bible many times and one of the so-called Holy cities in Judaism, but it is where the Tombs of the Jewish Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and their wives are buried. Over the tombs Herod built a magnificent structure over 2000 years ago, that survives to this day.

The Arabs conquered the area in 639 ce and converted the Tomb into a Mosque, calling it the Ibrahimi (Abraham) Mosque and then Jews were not allowed beyond the third step into the building for 700 years.  This discriminatory nonsense was ended only when Israel defeated the Arab States and recaptured the area of Judea in 1967.  Not only did the Heritage Committee label the city as Palestinian but declared that it is in “danger” presumably from Israel!  This accepts completely the Palestinian lying narrative of the situation without any consideration for the Israeli truth.  The resolution was passed 12 to 3, with 6 abstentions.  Note that now they want to erect a plaque on the edifice with this ridiculous statement.  All anyone has to do is Google “the Tombs of the Patriarchs” and see that in fact this decision by UNESCO is absolutely incorrect.

Just because there are now a majority of Arabs in the city does not mean that the tombs and the building are “Palestinian,” they are not and never have been.  In fact the population of Hebron is known for its fierce hatred of Jews, which culminated in a massacre of Jews there is 1929 which murdered 67 Jews and many injured.  The British authorities then expelled the Jews from Hebron.   Jews only returned after 1967.  The irony is that most of the so-called Arabs of Hebron are probably descended from indigenous Jews, many of whom were first converted to Christianity and then forcibly to Islam. Their fierce anti-Jewish attitude may stem from this origin.

PM Netanyahu immediately cut Israel’s payment to UNESCO by m$1 and said that the money will be spent to improve the Jewish settlement in Hebron.

Is Europe dying?

While Europe is distracted by the conflict over Brexit, Britain being the first country to exit from the EU, it is probably undergoing its death throes.  There are three main reasons why:

  1. The low birth rate:  Throughout Europe the birth rate is so low that it is far less than the replacement rate required to maintain a stable population (the overall figure is 1.6 children per woman and is declining).  This means that there are not enough people to fulfill the work requirements, both in technical jobs and in menial tasks.  The latter have to be filled by lowly paid immigrants.  But in fact the  liberal laws in the EU make it worthwhile for immigrants to enter Europe where they can find work and earn far more than they could in their home countries.
  2. The immigrant flood:  Italy issued a warning that it will close its ports to all migrants because last week more than 80,000 people entered, mostly from Libya and mostly Black Africans and North African Muslims.  The Italian authorities simply can’t cope with this flood of immigrants, most of whom want to move further north to Germany, Sweden and Britain.  The EU is simply unable to cope with this flood of humanity.  Note that Germany already took ca. 1.4 million immigrants, mostly Syrian refugees in the past few years at a cost of over one billion euros.  Note the difference, immigrants are simply people entering a country, while refugees are fleeing war and are in fear of their lives.  Refugees can ask for asylum, economic immigrants can’t.  Most of the current wave are the latter and could be simply returned to whence they came.  The problem is that Europe is so liberal now, that I saw a young woman earnestly arguing on the BBC that the very title of “economic immigrant” should be banned.  What self-deception.  Of course, I haven’t even mentioned the problem of terrorism that the Muslim hordes bring with them.
  3. The financial crisis: Greece still has a debt burden of m∈300, and this is after hundreds of billions of euros have already been loaned.  The fundamental problem of the eurozone is that it is based on a fiction, namely that all members will adhere to the rules and that all members can in fact be solvent.  There is a clear-cut division between the northern tier (Germany and Scandinavia) and the southern tier (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, etc.) and nothing they can do can change the fact that the north will always be carrying the south financially.

Add these three factors together and Europe is on a sharp decline.  As immigrants replace the native European populations, the basic economic strength of Europe, that depends on innovation and dynamism, is being sapped.   In the natural world the predators always go first for the weak and the sick – the survival of the fittest.  Europe is like a big blundering buffalo that is unable to keep up with the herd, but hasn’t yet noticed the lions trailing it.

 

The Palestinians are Losers

We in Israel need to foster the recognition of the fact that the Palestinians are losers. They have lost out to the realities of history.  They tried many times to prevent the return of the Jews to our historic homeland.  We were the remnants of a once great people escaping from the ravages of WWII Europe, the pitiful vestige of a once great presence throughout the Middle East in what is now known as the Arab World and exiles from throughout the world.  They tried in 1929 with massacres of Jews in the Holy Land and in 1936 they staged an uprising that was suppressed by the British forces.

After WWII, in 1948 the Arab armies of 6 states as well as the local Arabs (not yet known as Palestinians) tried to extinguish the nascent Jewish State at birth.  But they failed, just as the Arab States failed time and time again, in wars in 1956 (the Sinai Campaign), 1967 (the Six-Day War), 1973 (the Yom Kippur War) and 1982 (the First Lebanon War).  At that point these States realized the futility of banging their heads against a brick wall and gave up. First Egypt, then Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel.  But the Palestinians couldn’t stop, they tried the first intifada (1987-93), the second intifada (2000-05), the suicide bombings, the recent “knife intifada” (that seems to have petered out) and they still believe their own propaganda, that the Jews are scared, that the Jews can’t fight, that the Jews will run away, if only they can kill enough of us.  Such fools!

And what is their strategy, their only strategy is to destroy Israel, not to establish a state, not to improve their own people’s lives, but to destroy those of others, a typical Muslim strategy.  And they are split on how to do this, should they depend on Allah and terrorism as Hamas does, or on the support of the UN, as Fatah attempts to do.  But, neither of these tactics will succeed.  They are split, they are depraved, they are self-destructive.  In a word, they are losers.

Israel-India Relations

PM Narendra Modi of India is visiting Israel now, the first Indian PM to do so.  His interaction with PM Netanyahu has been extremely friendly.  The reasons for his visit are perhaps obvious, Modi is a Hindu nationalist, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  His opinions and policies are far away from those of the Congress Party leaders of the 1960’s-70’s.  India is no longer a leader of the so-called Third World, and is an enemy of Muslim Pakistan and has serious military problems in Kashmir as well as from Muslim terrorist attacks in India.  Most notably the terrible attack on the Taj Hotel and elsewhere in Bombay (Mumbai) in 2008 that killed 166 people.  Modi met with the surviving son of the Chabad House Rabbi and his wife who were killed in the Mumbai attack. So Israel and India have a great deal of common interests.

When I worked in the USA I had several Indian post-doctoral fellows, and I also made friends with two visiting Indian Professors from the Tata Institute in Mumbai.  They all were very pro-Israel.  When I visited India (twice) these friends made it clear that they did not support the very pro-Palestinian stance of the Indian Government then.  In fact, educated Hindus are strongly pro-Israel and wish to make a mutually beneficial alliance with Israel.

Although Israel and India have common interests and enemies, and have signed multi-million dollar deals (mostly for Israeli military technology), the two countries are in fact very different.  Israel is small and India is very large and has a huge population.  India is only now becoming a technologically developed country, although it continues to have a huge poor underclass.  Apart from the military area and the common strategic interests, Israel can certainly help India in its period of development, with such improved technology as milk production, farming and water use.  The future of Israel-India relations looks very bright.

 

Trump insults

There have been many – too many – insults of President Trump by the liberal media that go beyond the realm of decency and fair comment.  For example:

  1. There was the supposed comedienne Kathy Griffin who thought it funny to show a gruesome decapitated head of a replica of Donald Trump covered in (fake) blood. This is what passes for funny among liberals?  She was fired last May by CNN and claims that Trump ruined her life.  Good!
  2. Megan Kelly of Fox News who moderated the first Presidential debate in the 2017 campaign claims Donald Trump was angry that her questions to him were deliberately antagonistic.  She eventually left Fox and moved to NBC.  That’s an improvement?
  3. MSNBC morning show host Mika Brzezinski has been constantly criticizing and demeaning Pres. Trump, calling him “a liar” and “mentally ill.”  The president has shot back with tweets calling her “low I.Q. crazy Mika” and claimed that she had been “bleeding badly from a face-lift” during a social gathering at Mr. Trump’s resort in Florida around New Year’s Eve. A White House spokeswoman said Ms. Brzezinski deserved a rebuke because of her show’s harsh stance on Pres. Trump.
  4. CNN commentator Reza Aslan felt it was justified to call Pres. Trump “a piece of shit.  He’s not just an embarrassment to America he’s an embarrassment to mankind!” Aslan was subsequently fired.  CNN has had so many complaints that the network  is now in trouble.
  5. MSNBC host Chris Matthews compared Pres. Donald Trump to a long line of power-hungry politicians, including Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.  Speaking of nepotism and the amount of power that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner seems to wield, Matthews remarked, “So the son-in-law — you know, one good thing Mussolini did was execute his son-in-law.”  “I mean, I’m talking about Ciano,” he added, referring to Galeazzo Ciano, whom Mussolini had executed in 1944 after a sham trial found him guilty of treason.

I agree that Pres. Trump is different and some of his tweets are inappropriate and un-presidential and I wish he would stop making them.  But, given the level of invective that he has been subjected to, I can at least understand his need to counter-attack and vent. What do you think would have been the reaction if any media had attacked former Pres. Obama in this way?

And yet Obama, for all his intellectuality, was a miserable failure as a President.  He was indecisive, an ineffective leader, and he allowed Russia to go into Syria (his famous “red line”) which resulted in the worsening of the civil war and caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, he allowed China to build military bases on islands in the South China Sea, he did nothing as North Korea continued to flout UN and US warnings in developing nuclear weapons, he made an agreement that allowed Iran to eventually develop nuclear weapons, and he allowed the US economy to sink.  The coastal elites in America have not yet begun to realize that most of middle America (that part between the coasts) voted for and support Donald Trump and like the way he counter-attacks the elitist liberal media.

The Zookeeper’s Wife

I read the book ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife,” by Diane Ackerman, some time ago and had forgotten much of the detail.  But, the movie of the same name is a very well-directed and beautiful version that retains all the essential elements.  Dr. Jan Zabinski and his wife Antonina ran the Warsaw Zoo.  When the Nazis attacked Poland in 1939 at the start of WWII the Zoo was decimated.  After some time the Zabinskis use the facilities that formerly held the animals to hide Jews.  True and very symbolic.  In this way they saved the lives of several hundred Jews.

I have two criticisms of the film, it shows the Nazis as terrible as they were, but no Poles are shown to be anti-Semitic and one should understand that the Zabinskis were exceptions.   Also, the uprising of the Poles in Warsaw in Aug 1944 is shown as if it coincided with the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of April 1943.   Not only were they separated in time, but the Poles gave no help to the Jews when the Warsaw Ghetto uprising took place, that ended with the deliberate razing of the Ghetto by the Germans setting it on fire.  The Polish uprising was also suppressed by the German Army with many casualties. Warsaw was one of the most destroyed cities in WWII.

The true story of how the Zabinskis helped save Jewish lives is in some respects inspiring.  Definitely a movie worth seeing. But, we should not get carried away.  They saved hundreds at great peril to themselves.  Yet hundreds of thousands were being massacred.  A small degree of hope against a huge measure of despair.

No Sanctuary Cities

The very concept of Sanctuary Cities is a contradiction of US Federal Law.  How can you have some cities operating under one law and others unilaterally deciding to operate under another law?  Federal Law in the USA applies to all of the USA, not just some of it and not just to those areas that have decided that they are liberal and don’t like a rightist Republican Administration such as that of Pres. Trump.  Suppose a city decided that murder was no longer a capital offense, or a Muslim majority decided that they wanted Sharia Law, would that be acceptable.  Of course not!

The No-Sanctuary for Criminals Act and Kate’s Law were passed by a majority in the House of Representatives because an illegal Mexican immigrant who had been expelled five times from the US and had previously been convicted seven times, murdered a young American woman Kate Steinle in front of her father.  Every American should fear for his/her children given the current situation of revolving door entry, where illegal immigrants are deported even if convicted of a violent crime and then return almost immediately.  In order to stop this Kate’s Law mandates severe penalties of jail time.

But, what would be the point of the House passing this Bill if a city such as Chicago or San Francisco can decide they are Sanctuary Cities and they will allow illegal immigrants who have committed crimes to enter and stay there.  It would negate Federal Law, and the Administration is in order to remove Federal funding from those cities in order to enforce their cooperation, ensure the application of Federal Law and the reversal of the Sanctuary City concept.  There must be one law for all, and that law should ensure that illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the USA are suitably punished and not allowed to go free to repeat their crimes.